The Students at PSP

The mean age of our student body is about 45. Virtually all of our students have been successful in their career prior to entering the Professional School of Psychology; however, most of our students were discouraged earlier in their career from pursuing a graduate degree in psychology. The barriers and sources of discouragement vary: lack of funds to pay for their education, gender or racial biases, family obligations (child-rearing, bread-winner, etc.), or a lack of encouragement from significant people in their lives. Now, in mid-life or later life, they have decided to move forward with their graduate education. Given this common scenario, we have attracted an exceptional student body over the years: lawyers, physicians, police officers, university professors, chemists, ministers, nurses, government officials, to name but a few of the entering professions.

On this web-site we are pleased to briefly describe the accomplishments of several of our students. We periodically change the students we are featuring so that we can do justice to the remarkable record of those enrolled at our school.

A Featured Student: Gail Johnson Vaughan

Gail Johnson Vaughan

Gail Johnson Vaughan receiving an award on the steps of the California State Capital

Gail serves as the Executive Director (ED) of Mission Focused Solutions in Nevada County, California and has for many years played a leading role in advocating for adoption policies in California and elsewhere in the United States. She served as ED of Sierra Adoption Services from 1985 through 2007 where she managed five successful demonstration projects, including ongoing collaborative programs with Placer and Nevada Counties. Her ability to successfully manage ambitious, innovative model programs and influence transformative improvements in child welfare policy and practice and form successful public/private collaborations to increase the permanency for children of all ages in foster care are widely respected, leading California’s Senate President Pro Tempore to say “”Renowned for her superb ability to forge solutions to the challenges that face the child welfare community, Gail Johnson refused to passively participate in a system that allowed California’s most fragile and vulnerable children to languish in a broken foster care system.”

Gail chairs the California 94 Youth Permanence Policy Task Force and participates in child welfare improvement initiatives at the local, regional, state and national levels. Her recognitions include the Health & Human Services Adoption Excellence Award, 2008; CA Foster Care Month Coalition “Change a Lifetime Award” 2008; and The Sacramento Business Journal “Women Who Mean Business” Award, 2005. Gail was featured in Positively M.A.D., Making a Difference in Your Organizations, Communities and the World, published by Berrett-Koehler in 2004.

A Featured Student: Jan Bouch

Jan Bouch is an organizational and educational consultant who has gained a well-deserved reputation as a major figure in the promotion of reform in judicial systems throughout the world — working in court systems throughout North America and the Mid-East. Along with President Bergquist, Ms. Bouch recently conducted a cutting-edge program in the Massachusetts Judicial System that involved the training of judges from throughout the system in the art and science of skillful peer mentoring.

Jan Bouch earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York – Albany and her MHS from Keene State College. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Organizational Psychology Program at PSP. She is a 1994 graduate of the Court Executive Development Program and has over twenty years of administrative, consulting, and education experience with courts and other organizations, and is certified to teach educational courses about the brain. Ms. Bouch is the primary author of the National Association for Court Management’s Education, Training and Development Core Competency Guideline, and the Education, Training and Development & Leadership courses for the Michigan State University Judicial Administration program. She is also a certified executive coach. Jan can be contacted by email at:

The Work of PSP Students

To give prospective students and other people interested in the Professional School of Psychology a taste of our student’s remarkable written work, we feature several essays written by our current clinical and organizational students, as well as essays prepared by our alumni/ae when they were enrolled at PSP.